For many Americans, elections are spectator sports. Despite the huge numbers who tuned in to this week’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, historical data suggests that on Nov. 8, more than 40% of eligible voters will skip the polling stations and just watch the dramatic results unfold on TV.
To address America’s consistently dismal voter turn out, the graphic arts organization AIGA launched a poster campaign intended to wield “the power of design to motivate the American public to register and turn out to vote.” It asked its 26,000 professional and student members to create nonpartisan posters persuading readers to vote, that would be free for anyone to print and distribute.
While the efficacy of the printed poster format is questionable in the age of memes, many of the resulting posters in the growing gallery (486 by the time of publication) show how compelling and memorable a well-visualized argument can be.
AIGA explains that the free posters can be useful for voter registration campaigns who can bolster their messaging through witty, edgy, campy, passionate, or graphically arresting communication materials. Several posters also speak to US minority groups who might feel especially left out in the US elections, like this image targeted for Chinese-Americans.
Based on a poster by LA-based designer Agustin Garza, AIGA also partnered with Spanish-language network Azteca to produce a 10-second PSA about voting, featuring Battlestar Galactica actor Edward James Olmos.
“The policies under discussion during this election make it imperative that this year [Latinos] take a more active role in the democratic process that will shape the future of their community and of the country at large,” explained Garza. More than half of eligible US Latinos abstained from voting in past US election cycles, according to a 2016 analysis by Pew.